Due to the nature of our business I meet with many leaders from various organisations every week. It goes without saying, they are all extremely intelligent people: When it comes to board and management level, everyone is accomplished. Their reasons for meeting with us vary, but it often boils down to one thing: They want us to answer a burning question, “How do we become successful as an organisation”.
Makes sense right?
My standard response to this is actually pretty simple. It doesn´t matter which sector you´re in, what your situation is or what your plans are for the future. Every organisation has two sides; the smart-side and the healthy-side and both must be utilised effectively in order to achieve success.
The smart-side of the organisation mostly concerns itself with tangible results: Measurable aspects, such as strategy, marketing, finance and tech. The healthy-side makes it possible for the smart side to function at their best, (the enablers of whatever they need). They are there to minimise internal politics, ensure confusion is avoided, keep morale high, boost productivity and keep attrition low.
I am yet to meet a leader who doesn’t agree with this. Every leader would love to have this scenario in their organisation, and is convinced that it would greatly accelerate the transformation of their company.
So you probably think that all the leaders I talk to get right down to work on improving both sides, but unfortunately that’s not the case..
Almost every leader and their team are used to being the brains; they can do it in their sleep, and are very experienced. So they find it much easier to find answers on the smart-side. Read all about it in their spreadsheets, they´ve got this!
The healthy-side is often where the issues lie, these people must overcome the following prejudices from their counterparts.
So where does this leave most leaders? 95% of the focus goes to the smart-side and that’s a real shame. We are fully convinced that every company can profit more on the health-side than on the smart-side. The greatest superpower that a leader has are the people with whom they work: If you know how best to engage them, we promise you’ll wipe out the competition.
Why? Because your competitor is in exactly the same situation. They are also highly intelligent, well educated and have their own team of rockstars around them. Through the democratisation of information, they too have access to the latest innovations and know exactly how the theory works. The advantages that can be gained on the smart-side are therefore marginal.
On the other hand, they also face the same problems on the healthy-side. They are plagued with political agendas, confusion and all the other nonsense that leads to an unhealthy organisation. And that’s why the potential on the healthy-side is enormous.
I dare wager that the first organisation to find a solution to become healthy will be the first to succeed.
Create a better balance between smart and health. 50/50 would be ideal, but 70/30 (smart/health) is more realistic. Focus 70% of the time on your daily ‘operational’ responsibilities, and 30% on improving the healthy side. We advise to follow this roadmap based on the theories of Patrick Lencioni.
The five dysfunctional properties are depicted on a pyramid, and as with the Maslov-pyramid they are laid out hierarchically. Without fundamental trust, it is impossible to solve the higher up dysfunctionalities. So, start by creating that trust, and work up from there.
I promise you the following: put yourself above the four prejudices and start improving the healthy-side and I bet you will be successful!
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